Court Watch

Drink driver banned after third offence A DRIVER was given a four- year ban to protect the public after being caught drink- driving for the third time in eight years. Anthony Onyekwere Uj Ozoemelam was seen swerving from side to side across the road after

Drink driver banned after third offence

A DRIVER was given a four- year ban to protect the public after being caught drink- driving for the third time in eight years.

Anthony Onyekwere Uj Ozoemelam was seen swerving from side to side across the road after ignoring his wife's advice not to take out the car, a court heard.

Whilst entertaining friends at his Ely home on Friday night, he decided to go to Tesco's in Angel Drove to buy eggs, bacon and sausages for the following morning's breakfast.

But police stopped Ozoemelam and gave him a roadside breath test which showed 59 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Ozoemelam, 44, of Wissey Way, admitted drink-driving when he appeared before Ely Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

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Mitigating, John Aspinall told the court that Ozeomelam had drunk a few beers and at 9.30pm decided, against his wife's advice, to go to Tesco's.

"He is very ashamed and apologetic to be appearing in court for the third time," he said. "It is not something that he is in any way proud of."

The court heard that Ozoemelam had just been made redundant but managed to secure a temporary job with a company in Littleport.

"His job involves marketing and sales and he got the impression that he would need a car if he were to take the job on a permanent basis," added Mr Aspinall, who asked the court to impose the minimum three-year ban.

He told the court that Ozoemelam had accepted he might have a drink problem and had contacted Alcoholics Anonymous.

But magistrates imposed a four-year driving ban and fined Ozoemelam £160 with £55 costs. They told him his ban could be reduced by 12 months if he were to complete a drink driver rehabilitation course.

Chairman of the magistrates, Alan Williams, said: "This is your third offence in eight years and we feel a three-year ban is not sufficient to show the severity of this offence.

"The reason you were stopped was because you were seen swerving from side to side. Your ability to drive was impaired and you were putting other drivers at risk and we are doing this to protect you because next time you could hurt or even kill someone. It is not just to protect you but to protect the public."

Man who stole had sentence altered

A LITTLE Downham man who stole from his former employer because he was owed thousands of pounds in wages had his sentence changed this week.

"I did it because my back was against the wall, it was out of character," Paul Fuller told Ely magistrates. "It would not have happened if he had paid me."

Fuller, 43, was in court to ask for his 160-hour community punishment order to be revoked, because his new job meant he was not able to perform the unpaid work.

Fuller, of Orchard Estate, had completed 64 hours of work, and the magistrates agreed to re-sentence him, and replaced the work order with a one-year conditional discharge.

The order was imposed on Fuller in July last year, for two offences of theft, one offence of attempted theft, and obtaining property by deception.

The court was told that back in November 2004 he stole a £500 laptop computer and sold it for £300. He stole a cheque book and used it without permission, and wrote 11 cheques that bounced as he claimed a total of £1,230 cash back from a supermarket.

Fuller also paid a £9,500 company cheque into his wife's account, and used a cheque from a cancelled cheque book to rent a car.

"I am sorry it happened," said Fuller. "He owed me £5,000, I was transport manager. I got money for him, but he did not pay me a penny."

He had sold the computer to get some money and hired the car when his vehicle was in the garage. "It was a moment of madness," he added.

The court was told that Fuller was paying off a total of £2,300 in fines, and had only £700 outstanding.

Drunk teen crashed motorbike into car

A DRUNKEN teenager almost severed his jugular vein when he crashed his off-road motorbike into a car in Haddenham, after drinking alcohol on the recreation ground.

His tearful mother told Ely Youth Court on Thursday: "He will never have a motorbike again. He will never forget the accident, that bike was supposed to be for off-road use only."

Neither Moden or his pillion passenger were wearing crash helmets at the time of the accident in Aldreth Road, said prosecutor Delia Matthews. He gave a blood test reading of 95 mgs of alcohol in 100 mls of blood, when the legal limit is 80 mgs.

He caused £2,500 worth of damage to the parked car he hit, and the vehicle's owner lost his insurance no claims discount, and had to pay a £300 insurance excess.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted riding the machine on July 30 last year when over the alcohol limit, riding the bike without due care and attention, and using the bike without insurance or a licence.

He said: "This was out of character, I don't know why I did it, it was stupid."

Sentencing the youngster to a six-month referral order, presiding magistrate Harvey Harrison told him: "I think this has been a very hard lesson you have learned."

The teenager was also banned from driving for a year and ordered to pay £500 compensation and £55 costs.

Window smashing boys received fines

FIVE boys were caught red-handed when they smashed windows at a Little Downham house that was undergoing renovation work.

A neighbour heard the noise of breaking glass and called the police - and the youngsters were found inside the property at 15 Townsend.

Two of the boys received warnings, and the other three, aged 15, 14 and 13, appeared before Ely Youth Court on Thursday, when they admitted causing £100-worth of criminal damage to the house belonging to Bruce Smith.

The 14-year-old said: "I regret doing it, I was bored, I had nothing else to do. His father added: "It was a moment of stupidity, there are a lot of boys who hang around the village together, they should know better."

Prosecuting, Delia Matthews said the house was empty but inhabitable, and builders were working on the property.

"On September 11 last year, Mr Smith was told by police that there was some damage at the house, some lads were found inside, and damage had been caused."

The windows of a porch, inner porch and living room had been smashed, she said.

Giving all three teenagers a three-month referral order, presiding magistrate Harvey Harrison said: "This was a prank that got out of hand." The youngsters were ordered to pay £20 compensation and £55 costs.

Youth denies throwing eggs at house

A WITCHFORD teenager has denied harassing two people in the village by throwing eggs at their house and playing football outside their home.

The 16-year-old boy is alleged to have harassed Ian and Janet Stacey between October 30 and November 17 last year. Details of the allegation say he threw eggs and acted in an insulting manner on October 31, and on November 16 he was involved in playing football outside their home "whilst wearing a balaclava that was pulled down, and when challenged, was intimidating by making reference to a complaint made to the police."

The youngster further denied that he used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, at Witchford on October 30.

His two co-defendants, aged 17 and 15, denied using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour in Witchford on November 16.

On Thursday, Ely Youth Court adjourned the case for a trial to be held at Cambridge Youth Court on March 27 and 28.

Man must pay costs or face jail sentence

PAUL Giddens could face jail if he fails to pay off his court fines on a regular basis over the next month, he was warned on Thursday.

Giddens, of Nene Road, Ely, owes almost £2,500 in fines, some going back more than five years.

The self-employed ground worker agreed to pay £25 a week for the next four weeks, and was told that the amount would be reviewed when his child benefit claim was settled.

"This has gone on far too long, we have got to get this money back," said Janet South, presiding at Ely Magistrates' Court. "If you do not pay, you will get a suspended prison sentence."

Charges denied

AN allegation of dangerous driving was denied by Soham man Reginald Earwaker when he appeared before Ely magistrates on Thursday.

Earwaker, 49, of West Drive, Gardens, is alleged to have committed the offence on the A142 at Witchford on January 14, when behind the wheel of a G-registered Audi car, and has also denied failing to stop when directed by the police on the same date.

Earwaker has further denied possessing amphetamine on January 31, and driving while disqualified on October 25 last year. The date of his trial is due to be set by the court on March 9.

Earwaker has admitted charges of possessing cocaine and failing to surrender to police bail on November 5, failing to surrender to court bail on November 8 and failing to produce driving documents on June 4. A

pre-sentence report was ordered.

Assault trial date

THE trial of Ely woman Sharon Boylan is ready to go ahead on March 9, city magistrates were assured this week.

Boylan, 39, of Bakers Court, has denied assaulting Janice Plumridge in Ely on October 5 last year.

Case discontinued

AN allegation that 30-year-old Gerald Magowan stole a Boer War medal from Waterside Antiques in Ely has been discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.

It had been alleged that Magowan, of Enfield, stole the solid silver Victorian medal on January 22.

Points endorsed

GOODS vehicle driver James Barton has been fined £60 for driving a Volvo at 52 mph, when its speed is restricted by law to 40 mph.

Barton, 47, of Walsingham Way, Ely, committed the offence on the A1123 at Needingworth on May 10 last year. He was also ordered to pay £42 costs and had three points endorsed on his driving licence by Ely magistrates on Thursday.

Teen damaged cell

A 17-year-old from Littleport who stole alcohol and then damaged police station walls has been landed with a bill totalling £225.

The teenager stole two bottles of WKD from One Stop in Ely on January 23, and caused £50 worth of damage at Parkside Police Station in Cambridge the following day.

When he appeared before Ely Youth Court on Thursday, the youngster was fined £50 for theft, £100 for causing damage, and was ordered to pay £50 compensation and £55 costs.

Speeder fined £60

SPEEDER Bobbi Gene Workman was fined £60 by Ely magistrates on Thursday, after admitting that she broke the 60 mph speed limit on the A1101 at Littleport.

Workman, 35, of Ely Road, Littleport, was caught driving a BMW car at 72 mph on August 16 last year. Three points were endorsed on her driving record.